How Deadly Derecho Could Impact Homeowners Insurance

Last week’s devastating storm in Houston is costing many homeowners big bucks in damages.

Source: Houston 2 | Published on May 24, 2024

Houston battered by derecho storms

Last week’s devastating storm in Houston is costing many homeowners big bucks in damages.

KPRC 2 spoke with insurance agent Leash Yu with Higginbotham Insurance about how the storm could impact insurance rates.

He said the Texas Department of Insurance does not allow insurance carriers to increase rates for filing natural disaster claims. However, if more major weather events hit the area, rates could increase over time.

“In the last few years, we’ve experienced about an average of a 30-percent increase on homeowners insurance rates. In 2010 and 2019, they experienced about 35 billion dollars’ worth of catastrophic claims on average for each one of those years. In 2020, 2021 and 2022 the catastrophic events were at 76 billion dollars for each one of those years on average. They’re anticipating 2023 to be an 80-billion-dollar event and may be even bigger,” said Yu.

Before a big storm hits, Yu recommends having flood insurance. However, Yu said flood insurance rates have increased by 150-precent since 2021.

“My home in particular, I live in West University in a low-risk flood zone. My home used to be $572 a year for flood insurance but the new rate for my home—if someone were to buy my home with flood insurance now, is almost $2,200,” said Yu.

According to Yu, Flood insurance typically takes 30 days to go into effect. Unless you are buying a home with a loan, then the waiting period can be waived.

He also recommends documenting items in your home with photos and pictures. If a storm hits, contact your insurance company right away. It may be expensive, but Yu said it’s better than paying out of pocket when a storm hits.